In the past real estate agents used to rely on photographs to show a home to prospective buyers. Just recently agents have chosen to dedicate full websites and videos to showing a property, but now there's something completely different.
It's becoming increasingly common for agents to use drones, which are small unmanned helicopters that have remotely operated video cameras. These show a home from a completely different perspective as the drone flies over the house getting a panoramic view. It's an interesting new way to see a property as well as the surrounding areas, as for example it can show how far the house is from local amenities such as shops and parks. Using the drone to get footage of the house costs several hundred dollars, but may be worth it to sell an expensive property.
The idea of using a drone sounds great but as the article in aol.com points out it has raised several legal questions. At the moment flying drones is regarded as being a commercial grey area, with the Federal Aviation Administration stating commercial users must get authorization from the administration. However drone operators can get round these regulations by not charging for the flight, but instead charging for the video and photo editing. However this doesn't mean such flights will qualify as a hobby or will be regarded as being for recreational use, and the FAA has issued warning letters and has already tried to find drone pilots.
Legal experts have pointed out that real estate agents need to be very careful when using drones to market properties, particularly if there happens to be an accident while using a drone. If the drone were to crash onto private property there is the possibility of serious damage. This shouldn't be a problem when drones are used with the consent of the landowner and where they are only flown over their property. However if they are flown over neighbors backyard it could create problems.
Most people will probably regard this being an invasion of their privacy, but landowners don't necessarily have exclusive rights to the airspace over their properties, and this airspace is often treated as being a public highway. It's possible a property owner could argue the drone prevented them from fully enjoying their property but it might be a hard case to prove. It's worth pointing out the drones used to record video footage are tiny and are often quite enough to operate without being noticed.